On this day in 2014, Scotland voted to remain a member of the United Kingdom in a referendum which divided the nation. Four years on after losing the vote for independence, the Scotish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is staying overnight at Balmoral Castle as a guest of The Queen.
Ms Sturgeon, who was a key player in the campaign for independence, arrived at Balmoral Castle on Monday afternoon alongside her husband, Peter Murrell.
In the evening, Her Majesty received the First Minister in audience at the castle for a private conversation.
It is unknown how many days Ms Sturgeon will stay at Balmoral, although in previous years, she has only spent the night.
Back in 2014 after Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom, former Prime Minister David Cameron attracted controversy after he claimed that The Queen “purred” upon hearing the news.
This led to a statement being released by Buckingham Palace, saying that that the Queen was above politics.
Afterwards, Mr Cameron apologised to the monarch – saying he was “very embarrassed” and “extremely sorry”.
The Queen only made one contribution to the referendum discussions after she released a statement following the result of the vote. She called for “understanding of the feelings of others” and took the opportunity to encourage Scots and other Britons alike to “come together again in a spirit of mutual respect and support” before putting forward her own and the Royal Family’s continued support for Scotland in the years ahead.
In 2014, Ms Sturgeon rejected reports that The Queen was in favour of the ‘No’ campaign during the independence referendum.
“I have no issue with anything the Queen did or didn’t say during the referendum,” Sturgeon commented when asked about Her Majesty’s comments outside of Crathie Church before the vote and if they were viewed as supporting the ‘No’ campaign.
“The Queen and the Palace made clear she was not taking a position during the referendum campaign.” Sturgeon also reiterated her support for retaining the monarchy in an independent Scotland.